Despite only training in the sport of judo for the past 17 months, Lennard Supernault of the Williams Lake Indian Band is seeing provincial success.
Supernault — a single father of three now living in Penticton — scored himself a gold medal on Jan. 29 at the Okangan Valley Open Judo Tournament in Kelowna.
On his way to the gold, Supernault proved victorious over three other opponents — one a much higher rank and belt level above him.
“[In the final] it went the full distance,” Supernault said. “He was a lighter guy than me but he was strong and aggressive. I beat him by one point so it was a really good match.
“There were a few restless sleeps the night before but the tournament was a lot of fun. I’m very competitive by nature but once I got to the tournament the atmosphere was very relaxed and laid back.”
Supernault, an orange belt in judo who also recently earned his white belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, trains out of the Penticton Judo Club, however, works with the Williams Lake Judo Club when he’s in the lakecity for his career as a heavy equipment operator and while visiting family and friends.
His youngest daughter, who is 15 and originally got Supernault involved in judo, also trains alongside him in the sport.
“She’s the one who got me into it,” Supernault said.
“She didn’t want to go by herself so she convinced me to go and we both fell in love with it right away.”
Supernault’s ultimate goal, he said, is to train people in the sport and to spread a positive message to youth.
“I want to start restoring pride in the youth of the area,” he said.
Speaking about troubled youth, Supernault said he has been sober from alcohol and drugs for the past three years, and wants to give back to the community.
“There’s life away from alcohol and drugs,” he said, adding the martial arts discipline of judo has helped him in his life in many ways.
He’ll be competing next at the King of the White Belts Open Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament coming up next month at the First Strike Martial Arts Academy in Penticton.